Failure

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Failure, there is no way around it. Thomas Edison tried over ten thousand different experiments before he finally demonstrated the first incandescent light bulb on October 21, 1879. Bill Gates’ first company, Traf-O-Data, was a failure. Michael Jordan was once quoted as saying: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot; And missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

In my short stint as an entrepreneur I’ve failed more times than I can count. I have also had my share of success, but it’s not even close to equal. The failures far outweigh the successes, and I’m sure I have a lot more failure ahead of me. I’m OK with that because I know that as soon as I stop failing, I have stopped trying to innovate. It’s the nature of the business of being an entrepreneur, and of success in general.

If it were easy, everyone would do it. It is naive to think that every good idea that you have will result in a successful business venture. I have yet to hear an entrepreneur say “every single idea I come up with seems to work.” More likely, you hear something like “I failed at my first five businesses before this one took off.”

Think about that for a second. Five businesses. Sometimes the number is three, sometimes it’s 20, but the important point is that most entrepreneurs don’t hit a home-run with their first company. It really does amaze me – how many people have the stones to fail five times and still start a sixth business? You have to be supremely confident and treat those previous five times as a learning experience for the sixth. And if number six fails, you have to do the same and move on to number seven.

In my opinion, the most important thing is how you deal with failure. Once you accept that it’s inevitable, you are able to learn from your mistakes and move on. It’s easy to let the failure consume you – not so much because you are pessimistic, but more so because it is hard to see something that you poured your heart and soul into be ignored or rejected. As soon as possible you need to come to the realization that your business is what they are ignoring or rejecting, NOT you. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can objectively analyze why you failed and learn the things necessary for improvement in the future.

Failure isn’t easy and is extremely frustrating, but it’s a necessary part of success.

Personal mission statement part 2

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Most people measure us by our accomplishments — what we’ve done. In my experience, most people compile their track record of accomplishments BY MISTAKE; that is, we don’t have a plan, we simply react to opportunities as they arise. In other words, our accomplishments are externally motivated, not internally driven. What this argues for, of course, is a consciousness of mission — what each of our lives is really about. That’s what this short article will discuss — your Personal Mission Statement. A Personal Mission Statement will help you to organize your entire life — your time, your thoughts, your priorities. Actually, a personal mission statement, conscientiously developed, will change the way you view everything in your life.

Your personal mission statement will force you to constantly re-evaluate who you are, what you’re about, and what you’re doing. As an example, just look at the Constitution of the United States. The essential mission statement there is “…to create a more perfect union.” Where would we be as a nation today if they had not outlined the goals and hopes of a new nation in those terms?

The basics of a mission statement are as follows:

1. Make it short and to the point. Nelson Mandela’s mission statement, developed over his 27 years in prison in South Africa, says just this: “End Apartheid.” Another great mission statement was developed by Abraham Lincoln upon his inauguration as President. “Preserve the Union.” Note that mission statements can change. Perhaps a mission is accomplished. Franklin Roosevelt started his presidency with a mission to “End the Depression.” By the time that was almost done another threat had arisen and the United States had become involved in World War II. Now the mission statement was “End the War.”

2. Keep your mission statement short, to the point, simple. Use direct language. Be sure that a 12-year-old could understand the statement and you’ll be more or less on track.

3. Make it memorable so it can be burned into your consciousness. The rule of thumb here is that if you can’t recite it from memory, it’s too long and too complicated. Remedy: simplify, condense, “laser” your thought process until you’ve said everything you need to say in the fewest and strongest possible words.

4. Eliminate excuses. Before you can write an effective mission statement you must clear away the excuses that prevent most people from writing one in the first place. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your job IS your mission. It’s only part of it…or not. Either way, remember that a mission is larger than a job. Your job may change, but your mission may not. In fact, there are times that a job MUST change in order that a mission be completed. So don’t lock yourself in a box that says that you ARE your work. You’re far more than that. Another trap…excuse…is “My role is my mission.” If you’re a man you may think of your role as “breadwinner.”

For a woman this might be “wife” or “mother.” The operating principle here is that your role, too, may change. In fact, as your life, evolves your role will almost certainly change. The third excuse — the one most of us don’t want to cop to — is that we may believe that we’re just not important enough to have a mission statement. Sure, it’s fine for a big company to have one, or for a country to have one, but I’m just one of the “little people,” so I don’t DESERVE one. Parenthetically, we almost never say this aloud. What we do say, at least to ourselves, is that we don’t NEED one. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!! Get rid of all that silly thinking. Focus. You’ll be glad you did.

Finally, clear out influences that have driven you in the past. A mission statement isn’t about what you think you should be doing. It’s about what EXCITES you. So instead of listening to all those voices from the past…the ones that told you you weren’t worth anything, that you’d never succeed, and so forth. Concentrate on your gifts, your dreams.

Hitting your groove

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We all come to a point in our lives, like in the movie “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” that we lose sight of who we are. Life has a person in so many different roles such as parent; employee and spouse we tend to lose “us” in being there for others. Although Stella got her groove back by meeting a man that was 20 years younger than her, how do we know that Stella’s groove is going to stay? Stella still had some matters in her life that she needed to clear up before taking a vacation to Jamaica. Taking a vacation is a temporary fix. When you come back all the problems are still there waiting on you.

In order to start working on your groove you must first clear out the garbage that has been holding you back from being happy. When I say garbage I mean the emotional matters in your life that are holding you back from enjoying your life. If you are having a hard time forgiving someone from your past this is an emotional problem that has to be dealt with before you can move forward in your life. Holding on to the anger is like walking around with an anchor attached to your heart. Any opportunities that may come in your direction will be overlooked because you are still anchored to the past.

Physical matters can also hold us back from getting our groove back. Say that you have been procrastinating on cleaning your garage. The more you think about doing it and not taking the action to do it will hold you back. In the movie, Stella was working at a job that was very profitable but the stress was overwhelming. Her dream was to build furniture and she wasn’t doing anything to make her dream a reality. Very few people realize that the things we don’t do will drain us more than the things we actually physically handle. As long as you procrastinate this brings your energy level down and eventually makes it even harder to get accomplished. Your subconscious starts accusing you of being lazy and after a while you really start to believe what your mind is telling you is true. You have to start taking baby steps to get back into action so that you will feel better about yourself. If you have a dream on hold or something you need to accomplish then take a certain amount of time either everyday or once a week to accomplish whatever it is you would like to accomplish. You will see that once this matter is complete you will feel a rush.

Once you have cleared up the garbage then it is time to work on you. Now is the time to give yourself special attention and figure out what makes you happy. During this period you would be required to do something special for self on a regular basis. I take every Saturday as my day for me. On this day I order carryout for the children and I do whatever brings me joy. If it is just reading a book, this is what I do on this day to give myself special attention.

Another thing you will have to consider is eliminating people from your life that don’t enhance your life. If you are in a relationship that you are doing more giving than receiving this may be a matter to re-evaluate. I am not speaking only on romantic relationships. This can also cover friends and family. Sometimes people have a tendency of taking your kindness for weakness. As long as you don’t set boundaries with these people they will keep on taking and not giving. You deserve better! You have to realize that you have the right to be selfish. If you don’t give yourself special attention on a “regular” basis who will? You have to learn to say no. If it is something you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do then simply say no. You don’t have to do anything in life that you truly don’t want to do except maybe pay taxes.

Successful goal setting

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Goal setting is the true secret to success in any area of life. But although setting a goal may seem simple, achieving it is usually another question altogether.

Why is that?

Because you will never achieve your goals unless you: (1) know exactly what you want, (2) are passionate about your goal, and (3) have a solid, realistic plan of action. This is what marks the difference between nebulous dreams and wishes – and truly achievable goals!

Many obstacles and challenges will fly right in your face when you’re going after a goal. Here are 5 time-tested methods that will help get the success you deserve.

1. Know exactly what your goal is

Your first job is to discover exactly what your goal is. What will achieving that goal really look like? Be as specific as possible about exactly what your desired end result is. Your success will be a measure of your clarity – since an achievable goal plan cannot be created around a nebulous “dream.”

If your goal is to create a more successful business, what will that look like? Are you thinking in terms of simply hiring someone else to give you more free time? Are you looking for a very specific monthly profit? Or can your goal be best expressed in terms of a certain lifestyle?

Regardless of what you want, the best way to get it is to first clarify exactly what you want in as much detail as possible. This can be hard work. But without a clear mental picture, you’ll never have the focus required to achieve your goal.

2. Be willing to pay the “entry fee”

Success takes dedicated planning and effort. In a way it’s like building a house. In the beginning all you have is a rough concept. Then you develop a complete set of plans – and you immediately move closer to success. The same is true of creating a better lifestyle, or a more successful business.

But there’s always an *entry fee* to be paid for success.

The entry fee?

Creating more success in your business may mean less recreational time. Writing your own book may require less TV. Being closer to your children may require adjusting your work or social activities.

It’s the “full glass” deal. If your life (your time) is already full to the top, there’s no room for something new. The entry fee is carving out the time to create that something new.

3. Focus on your goal every day

I’m sure you probably want to achieve your goal as fast as possible. That’s why clear mental focus is so very important.

Consistent daily focus is absolutely necessary to “burn in” the new neural pathways you need to create your new goal. Without daily focus, the old mental habits that have kept you from your goal will continue to take over.

This happens automatically – since these old habits replay 24/7 deep in your subconscious mind. The only way to override subconscious anti-success messages is to consciously focus on what you DO want – and build new neural networks!

That’s why success is an every-day event.

Re-commit to your goal every day. Don’t let your goal take a back seat to the daily tasks and distractions that will try to take over. Life WILL try to get in your way. Just get, and stay, on course every day. Focus on your goal, and on success!

4. Get passionate

One of the most powerful tools in your “success tool box” is having real passion for your goal.

Why passion?

Because intense passionate desire for your goal will help you burn in those new neural pathways even faster. Many, many scientific studies have shown that intense emotion (passion) is a key success tool.

PLUS (and this is really a *big* plus), intense passion will also help you rapidly override any inappropriate old “failure messages” stored in your subconscious mind.

5. Take consistent action

In many ways, actually taking action can be the most difficult step. Successful goal achievement is built by taking one small action after another.

The word is ACTION!

If you commit to take at least one small action each day, your actions WILL add up and make a difference. So avoid sitting back waiting for that big second when everything will magically “just happen.”

You CAN create whatever you want in life. The secret is to determine exactly what you want, then pursue it passionately. But remember — in the end, only action counts! You can’t just dream about it! You have to DO IT!

You become what surrounds you

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The key to life is to be around the people who will empower you to reach the next level in life! In order to exceed your present reach, you need to be around people who will help you stretch a little farther. The secret to a productive mastermind team is for you to surround yourself with people who you can always learn from. A sign of a very intelligent person is to be smart enough to realize that you need to learn from others who can contribute to your WHY in life.

As you know, my ultimate outcome is to develop the #1 traffic generating company in the world. Each and every day I strive to immerse myself in material and people who will enable me to achieve our corporate mission.

As you look at your own mission in life, you need to ask yourself a very honest/straightforward question ….”Is my personal development engine in Forward, Neutral or Reverse?” The answer is very simple. All that you need to do is to write down the top 10 people you regularly associate with. As you review the list, realize that you will become an exact duplicate of those 10 people — financially, spiritually, physically and psychologically. Once again, be honest with yourself. If you are not 110% happy about what you see yourself becoming due to your present relationships, you need to take ACTION immediately! Make a decision to develop a mastermind TEAM! Unfortunately, 95% of people will never take the action needed in order to become part of a mastermind team. They will continue to live their lives and wonder WHAT HAPPENED to their LIVES and all of their DREAMS. You need to stop whining and begin working on yourself to become part of a Mastermind Team!

I am proud to say that each and every day I associate with people who are either at my level of enthusiasm, excitement and intelligence or even more so than I am, which is the key to a personally productive mastermind team. You need to be a part of a group of people who make you want to exceed your present reach. Be honest with yourself and know that you need to change your associations in order to achieve your God-given dreams! You will be amazed by the results. Your life will SOAR like an EAGLE to the ends of the earth if you change your associations!

Find your WHY & FLY!

Today is my 36th birthday. Send me a birthday tweet @justinledvina or leave a comment below. Thanks a million!

Be a creative thinker

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There’s a great line in Alice in Wonderland when the Queen says, “Sometimes I think of 6 impossible things before breakfast.” I think you’ll agree that this has to be creativity at its best! As a small business owner this is an ideal you really need to strive for … but how on earth can you open up your mind to get to the point where ideas just spill out?

Small business owners are expected to be creative and inventive, otherwise how could they run their own firm? If you have a sneaky feeling that creativity is not one of your strong points what can you do to stimulate your brain and get it kicked-started?

Be Unlimited

Too many people are ‘limited thinkers’. They have their world placed squarely in a box and nothing can exist outside of that. If the newspaper reports something then it must be right. If Joe next door says that something is impossible then he must be right. As a small business owner, you cannot afford to be a ‘limited thinker’. You have to be an ‘unlimited thinker’. Get into the habit of seeing no boundaries; decide that there are no taboos. Have the belief that with a bit of focus you can find a creative solution to all of your problems. This is the foundation for a creative thought process.

Be Future-Focused

Creative ideas invariably come when you ‘look’ into the future. The feeling of propelling yourself forward and seeing the problem solved is a great motivator. Do you think you could achieve the same result if you were backward focused? I don’t think so! Train yourself to be future-focused, always looking ahead, not a traditional thinker who tries to find answers in today’s world.

Be a Writer

Once you open your mind to the joys of creativity the ideas will quickly start flowing, as if someone has opened the flood gates! Just like flood water, unless you catch it the ideas are lost for ever. Capture all your ideas by carrying a small pocket notebook with you. As soon as an idea pops into your mind, write it down. It doesn’t matter how outlandish it is, you can look at it in the cold light of day later on.

The fact you are responding to the ideas by noting them will further encourage you to be even more creative – good deeds encourage more good deeds!

Be Clutter-Free

If you are naturally an untidy person, then get out of the habit! A cluttered office will lead to a cluttered mind. You cannot expect your brain to work efficiently when all it’s doing is constantly reminding you how untidy your office is. To be creative remove all the clutter from your life and free your mind.

Be Action-Oriented

All of these points are great, but if you don’t take any action with your ideas, then you may as well not have bothered. An idea is nothing but a thought unless you take a specific action to help bring it to life. Periodically review your notebook and see if there are any hidden gems, or ideas which can be quickly actioned. A lot of your ideas may not suit at all but in there somewhere is probably an idea, which if acted upon, could change you or your business. Commit fully to move forward on as many of your ideas as you can.

Don’t be afraid to break down the boundary walls. As John Stuart Mill said, “That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in the next.”

Holidays got you feeling guilty?

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Guilt, guilt, guilt. Guilt is a terrible feeling and is often self-inflicted by creative entrepreneurs, especially during the holidays.

Most people who work for themselves say they chose to do so because they wanted to “control their time.” People who value time over money, recognize that time is a precious commodity that cannot be created, bought, or borrowed. You have to use it wisely or else it is gone.

Having the luxury to control how, with whom, and where you spend your time is one of the bonuses of working for yourself. So, why is it that an overwhelming number of entrepreneurs also say they feel guilty when they are not working on their businesses or with a client between the hours of 9 am to 5 pm?

To be truly happy and successful as an entrepreneur, you must break the corporate-created walls of time and learn how to set your day according to your needs and the needs of your clients. There is no law chaining you to your desk eight hours a day between 9 am and 5 pm.

Here’s my advice: stop feeling guilty about when you are working and when you are not, and ditch the idea of playing by rules set up by other organizations. Make sure you benefit from the freedoms of entrepreneurship and maximize your time by performing regular activities such as food shopping at off times like 10 am on a Tuesday or having your teeth cleaned at 2pm on a Monday. You will spend less time waiting in line, you will be less stressed, and actually have more time to devote to your clients and other activities, then if you went on a weekend or during a busier time.

Of course, be sure to take a day or two off completely during the holidays to go gift shopping, ice-skating, or for decorating your home. Give yourself permission to enjoy your life and do something for yourself, even if it is on a week day between nine and five. You deserve it.

Attitude Determines Altitude

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Your attitude determines your altitude – in business and in life. You can’t change someone’s attitude for them. But this powerful adage is a great reminder that you can put in front of anyone who needs an attitude adjustment. I want to talk about a few of the many ways each of us can develop a winning attitude every day. It’s what leaders do.

Marcus Aurelius, the great philosopher who ruled the Roman Empire, said it simply: “Our life is what our thoughts make it”.

Dale Carnegie, speaking to that quote said: “Yes, if we think happy thoughts, we will be happy. If we think miserable thoughts, we will be miserable. If we think fear thoughts, we will be fearful. If we think sickly thoughts we probably will be ill. If we think failure, we will certainly fail. If we wallow in self-pity, everyone will want to shun us and avoid us”.

Am I advocating a Pollyanna attitude toward all our problems? No. Life isn’t that simple. But I am advocating – in the strongest terms – that we assume a positive attitude instead of a negative one.

Mental attitude – the power we hold in our heads. Reality can be changed dramatically by a single thought. In nutrition the adage is you are what you eat. In terms of leadership, it’s more likely you are what you think. Contrary to what people want to believe, outside influences don’t usually determine your happiness or success, rather it is how we react to those influences – good or bad. So how do you change your reactions to those outside forces?

Make how you react a conscious priority, which means practice daily.

Humor is vital. When things aren’t going your way, keep everything in perspective and relax. I laugh. Others throw up their hands. Whole industries get very cynical.

Positive self-confident feelings not only help you achieve more; they also make others want to be associated with you. People are drawn to others who have an upbeat outlook, who have a can-do attitude. Constant complainers don’t collect an easy following.

Positive self-confident feelings not only help you achieve more; they also make others want to be associated with you. People are drawn to others who have an upbeat outlook, who have a can-do attitude. Constant complainers don’t collect an easy following.

One of a leader’s most important jobs is to set a positive and self-confident tone, exuding the attitude that failure is not an option. A positive attitude is the cornerstone of leadership. It’s the same confidence that a quarterback, a golfer, or a tennis star projects every time they come out of the locker room.

To gain strength from the positive and not be sapped by the negative, here are a few ideas:

Focus on the 90% of your team who will run with your vision and your plan – don’t let the “negative nellies” drain you or poison your team.

Tap your spiritual essence at work too – use your spirit and your heart to move you and your work forward.

Break the negative energy cycle – if you see yourself spiraling down or in a rut, mix it up, breakup the routine and do something fast that lifts you up. When you see one of your team members in a rut of unproductive or unprofessional behavior address it, don’t let it fester.

Active listening – takes time. Work at it, to hear what your team wants. Often just by being heard, problems can go away and people really make a big turnaround.

You must be the emotional manager of your office – not your assistant, not the new hotshot you just hired. In a family, parents must be the emotional managers or chaos rules the home. In your business, you must wear that mantel, albeit reluctantly at times. It’s part of your leadership role and power. Hone it, as well as your reactions to external events, and you’ll see the culture around you shift to the positive.

Jim Collins points out in Good to Great: When in doubt, don’t hire – keep looking. You can’t grow revenues consistently faster than your ability to get enough of the right people to implement that growth and still become a great company. So unless candidates for the open position have that can-do attitude and are a strong fit for your company in who they are – don’t hire them. The skills can be taught; the and-then-some positive attitude cannot.

The prerequisite is attitude. Attitude is the one thing we can’t change in employees. You’ve got a good attitude or you don’t. Given adequate ability and desire to learn, everything else can be taught to employees with good attitudes. I have tried many times to teach good attitudes and have come to the conclusion it is about as easy as making a mud fence.

A negative attitude will pull you down and with it your professional results. A positive attitude will pull you over the rough spots and energize you to lift your results to new heights – to match your vision. Whether you need an attitude adjustment a couple of times a day, once a week or only occasionally, never forget that your attitude determines your altitude. Don’t let outside people or events bring yours down.

Failure is part of the game

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To be a successful entrepreneur you are going to have to learn to deal with failure. There is no way around it. Thomas Edison tried over ten thousand different experiments before he finally demonstrated the first incandescent light bulb on October 21, 1879. Bill Gates’ first company, Traf-O-Data, was a failure. Michael Jordan was once quoted as saying: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot; And missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

In my short stint as an entrepreneur I’ve failed more times than I can count. I have also had my share of success, but it’s not even close to equal. The failures far outweigh the successes, and I’m sure I have a lot more failure ahead of me. I’m OK with that because I know that as soon as I stop failing, I have stopped trying to innovate. It’s the nature of the business of being an entrepreneur, and of success in general.

If it were easy, everyone would do it. It is naive to think that every good idea that you have will result in a successful business venture. I have yet to hear an entrepreneur say “every single idea I come up with seems to work.” More likely, you hear something like “I failed at my first five businesses before this one took off.”

Think about that for a second. Five businesses. Sometimes the number is three, sometimes it’s 20, but the important point is that most entrepreneurs don’t hit a home-run with their first company. It really does amaze me – how many people have the stones to fail five times and still start a sixth business? You have to be supremely confident and treat those previous five times as a learning experience for the sixth. And if number six fails, you have to do the same and move on to number seven.

In my opinion, the most important thing is how you deal with failure. Once you accept that it’s inevitable, you are able to learn from your mistakes and move on. It’s easy to let the failure consume you – not so much because you are pessimistic, but more so because it is hard to see something that you poured your heart and soul into be ignored or rejected. As soon as possible you need to come to the realization that your business is what they are ignoring or rejecting, NOT you. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can objectively analyze why you failed and learn the things necessary for improvement in the future.

Failure isn’t easy and is extremely frustrating, but it’s a necessary part of success. Don’t believe me? Ask Thomas Edison, Bill Gates or Michael Jordan! Ok, asking Thomas Edison might be a little tough, but you get the idea.

Procrastination

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Why is it that we as human beings often behave in ways that we don’t really want to? How often have you said or done something only to cringe at the thought of it afterwards? The truth is that your behavior is mostly driven by your unconscious mind, especially behaviors that is hard to explain from an intellectual point of view. Procrastination is knowing what to do, having the ability and desire to do it, but still you don’t do it. Although there are many apparent causes for procrastination, the root cause for this illogical behavior resides in your unconscious mind.

Your conscious mind is very limited in its ability to deal with life. That over which you have conscious control is mostly limited to one thing at a time. This is why using your willpower to create any real change rarely works long term. What you need to do is to change your automatic behavior which resides in your unconscious mind, that part of you that controls all the vital function of your mind and body. You can try and overcome procrastination by using willpower but it will usually be a short term change. The cause for procrastination is not your conscious actions, but your unconscious associations that is to a large extent responsible for your behavior.

Your nervous system is designed to preserve you and when fear presents itself your nervous system, through the working of your sub-conscious, will “kick in” to “protect you. The ironic thing is that we train ourselves, unconsciously, to fear certain things by making false associations about the meaning. Nothing in life has any meaning but the meaning you give it. You literally create neurological links to experiences that gets “stored” in your nervous system so that you can act quickly and accordingly next time. Whenever something happens to you, you assign a meaning to it by the way you communicate the experience to yourself. Unconsciously you are always trying to establish meaning and at a very basic level you are trying to establish whether something means pain or pleasure. This meaning then gets stored in your unconscious mind that will help you act (or re-act) appropriately in the future. The challenge is that when associations are reinforced you build up beliefs that will greatly influence your behavior and is often the cause for procrastination.

Although procrastination makes no sense intellectually it actually reveals a lot about your unconscious and your self imposed limitations and (in)abilities. The major cause for procrastination is fear, and more specifically your fear that taking action will lead to pain or a painful experience of some kind. At some level your unconscious mind combines and searches it’s “files” to come up with a “link” that associates the action to a painful experience. This can range from something which is mildly uncomfortable to something physically painful. Although you consciously want to do something your unconscious will prevent you as it associates pain to the action. As human beings we automatically reach for comfort and will almost automatically reach for whatever feels comfortable in the moment. This is why you often procrastinate on tasks that do not feel good in the moment although it will mean much more pleasure in the future.

Learning to push against this need for comfort is what creates all the growth that is necessary for you to really produce results. When you start to see procrastination as a blessing in disguise; you can start to use it and embrace the behavioral insights it holds for you. Procrastination reveals your fears and, quite by design, gives you the necessary resistance needed to expand and grow in your capacity to push past your fears and create the things you really want for your life. The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of “discomfort” you can comfortably deal with. Procrastination can also shed some light on the goals that you value most, as your concern over procrastinating on it shows that some part of you care enough to be concerned.

It’s been said that first we form our habits and then our habits form us. This is also true for habits of mind and procrastination often manifests itself as a habitual pattern of thinking. Your thoughts lead to and help create your actions. Like the engraved pattern on a record your behavior will “play the same tune” every time. Your associations to pain and pleasure play an important part in your habitual behavior in that it determines what you will or will not do. By repetition you form habitual patterns of thinking that will cause you to automatically act or retract in certain ways when your habit pattern gets triggered.

Being aware of your associations to pain and pleasure is critical in dealing with the root cause of procrastination. There are many symptomatic solutions that will not create a lasting result. Although you have to use your willpower initially, your aim is to re-establish your associations to the tasks you are avoiding. You can be, do or have whatsoever your heart desires providing that you can overcome your self imposed fears and take action. Although the real cause for procrastination resides in your unconscious mind, you are ultimately in control with your conscious actions.